How does combining simulation and PLC help build factories of the future?
The Visual Components PLC Add-On provides an interface to connect the simulation world to external controllers. This allows users to test the logic and to validate the design of a production line or machine. With the PLC Add-On, Visual Components’ 3DCreate can also serve as a learning platform within the organization and for the operators on the shop floor.
Often when creating a new production line, the original designs from the engineers require changes when the production line is commissioned. This can be avoided by using virtual commissioning, which validates the design using simulation and PLC data already during the production line design process. Flaws in the mechanical drawings can be revealed and lead times shortened.
In practice, by adopting virtual commissioning, PLC programmers have more time to make sure that everything works as planned instead of having to rush to the shop floor and finish the automation once all the machinery has already been assembled. There’s more time for optimization and production lines can be delivered earlier.
Controller versions supported by the Add-on:
- Beckhoff TwinCat 2 and 3
- Siemens SIMATIC S7-PLCSIM with Step 7 IDE
- Mitsubishi Electric’s MELSOFT MX Component
- Denso ORiN2
- other vendors such as Allen-Bradley, Omron and CODESYS via OPC DA **
** The default PLC Add-On package includes the option to connect to OPC DA servers. OPC DA provides a generic interface to multiple controller architectures. Our implementation enables connecting to local OPC DA servers without authentication requirements.